The American jail and prison system portrays a racial disparity in the population of incarcerated men, with the incarceration rate of the African American on the rise (ASAALH, 2011). According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report of year 2009, approximately 40% of total…
, the African American composition in the prison system was 900, 000 of the total 2.2 million population, which suggests that at least on in five African American man has been incarcerated (Alexander, 2011). If the current incarceration trend persists, then at least one in three African Americans will have an incarceration record by 2020 (ASAALH, 2011). The prison system adoption of incarceration policies has produce outstanding results in public safety, but they have had an enormous contribution to the weak informal social controls and family disruptions in the African American communities.
African Americans disproportionate rate of incarceration has been documented in the past, but the current figures suggest than there are no active policies to address the issue. While it is true that crime rates have risen over the past thirty years by almost 500%, the increasing number of blacks incarcerated is still not explainable (Clear, Cole, and Reisig, 2011). Different individuals and parties have raised concerns over the issue, notably Michelle Alexander and her book on mass incarceration. According to Alexander, the current population of African Americans in the prison and jail system is greater than that enslaved before the beginning of the Civil War. She further argues that crime rates are at a historical low as compared to the fluctuations over the years. Alexander attributes the increase to the current policies on war on drugs, a war that seems to aim at the poor communities of color exclusively, despite the fact that whites also trade and use illegal drugs at similar or higher levels than African Americans (Alexander, 2011).
Reports indicate that at least four of five African American youths living in some black inner-city society expect incarceration at one point in their lives. This leads economic and social disenfranchisement of many great African American, denying them voting rights, educational opportunities, public housing, and excluding them from equal ...
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